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SPECIAL TOPICS: Taco TuesdayDisneylandMenudo

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

El Pollo Loco - Review #1

Date of Visit: January 9, 2006

3002 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92782

Listing on Yahoo! Local

Official Site

Tried to go to the Rubio's at the Tustin Market Place last night but it had just closed (don't restaurants know that sometimes I need to eat dinner at 9:30pm?) so I went across the little street to El Pollo Loco.

At the counter I ordered a taco al carbon, a black bean burrito, which isn't even on their menu anymore and used to be called the "Smoky Mountain Black Bean Burrito" (now that's a mouthful), so be aware that it is something you can order, and chicken tortilla soup. Now this is what I have to stress: Their chicken tortilla soup is the real thing and may be the best I have ever had. I was reluctant to try it my first time because it seemed like the type of item a fast food restaurant could mess up very easily but each time it has been surprisingly fresh and came with a cup of fresh cilantro and cotija cheese and a bag of tri-colored tortilla chip strips to add to your own liking.

El Pollo Loco used to bill themselves as "the fast food habit worth having" but maybe they got rid of that slogan after they began serving Foster's Freeze products. I tried to eat healthy for this meal but when I was asked what I wanted to drink I panicked because of the line forming behind me and impetuously ordered a Foster's Freeze chocolate malt. I used a discount card my work had been handing out and the total came to $7.05.

Got myself some spicy avocado sauce and some pico de gallo from their salsa bar. Every salsa bar at every El Pollo Loco is always rather sloppy. Maybe it's just impossible to clean up after every sloppy guest but I do notice it every time.

I'd knock this down to a three Speedy Gonzales rating for their perpetually sloppy salsa bar and the fact that any chain can never rise above a four Speedy Gonzales rating but the fact that their chicken tortilla soup is so perfect and that they always let me order an item that's not on the menu brings them back up to a four Speedy Gonzales rating:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

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